• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Lesson learned from zero tech, super high light set up

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
732
Location
USA
I set up these zero tech, 1 gal planted bowls for about three years. There is no filtration, aeration or heater, just 4 to 5 hour sunlight through my west facing window in the afternoon. The intensity of sunlight is so much stronger than artificial high light that I measured 600 PAR in the sun and 70 PAR in bright shade. Even after placing a vinyl grid sunscreen, I still measured 250 PAR in the sun.

I assumed that having super high light, stem plants would turn red and grow at unmanageable rate. I was wrong. My Luwidgea, Rotala, and Mermaid weed grow at snail pace and stay green, and I seldom need to prune them. I think limited CO2 constraints their growth rate and redness. pH rose from 7.2 to 8.8 pre and post sunlight period, suggesting CO2 is depleted to less than 0.1 ppm at peak sunlight based on kH pH table. Temperature also fluctuates substantially by as much as 12 C difference seasonally and between day and night in a HVAC room.

With super high light, I was afraid of turning it into an algae farm. But it did not. After balancing out, the water is crystal clear and free of all algae except green thread algae (spirogyra and Clado) which I had to remove with a tweezer every now and then. Green thread algae thrive on the same healthy conditions as green plants and would not go away. Fortunately, green thread algae attach weakly to plants and come off easily in strands.

Since I can’t get any red from stem plants, I hang a few Coleus for color. They root quickly in water, but dont seem to grow. My cherry shrimp grow and breed, but shrimplets don’t seem to make it, so the population is not self sustaining. I don’t know why. Is it because water parameters ( temperature and pH) are not stable, or the the lack of water circulation. I do 20% water change weekly, replacing with fertilized water from my high tech tanks.
 

Attachments

  • 1974DCD3-2225-4C4E-99E8-9FBAA875A8F5.jpeg
    1974DCD3-2225-4C4E-99E8-9FBAA875A8F5.jpeg
    3.3 MB · Views: 183
  • E1C4A4AE-5D5E-41A5-876C-28FC598AC6C1.jpeg
    E1C4A4AE-5D5E-41A5-876C-28FC598AC6C1.jpeg
    3 MB · Views: 43
  • 1392D588-832D-4529-B118-1A92DE44D89D.jpeg
    1392D588-832D-4529-B118-1A92DE44D89D.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 45

erwin123

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
372
Location
Singapore
With super high light, I was afraid of turning it into an algae farm. But it did not. After balancing out, the water is crystal clear and free of all algae except green thread algae (spirogyra and Clado) which I had to remove with a tweezer every now and then. Green thread algae thrive on the same healthy conditions as green plants and would not go away. Fortunately, green thread algae attach weakly to plants and come off easily in strands.

I am running a similar 'experiment' and I also find that the only algae in this type of direct sunlight setup is green thread algae.
I was surprised as I was expecting green spot / green dust on the glass but so far none yet.
 

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
907
Location
Minnesota, USA
I set up these zero tech, 1 gal planted bowls for about three years.
Hi @tiger15 Very cool. Where did you buy those bowls?

Interesting that neither of you are getting any algae (except for GTA).... 🤔. I've had one of my tanks being hit by direct, but not very strong, sunlight last fall for a couple of hours each day without that causing algae either.
 
Last edited:

tiger15

Member
Thread starter
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
732
Location
USA
I am running a similar 'experiment' and I also find that the only algae in this type of direct sunlight setup is green thread algae.
I was surprised as I was expecting green spot / green dust on the glass but so far none yet.
What surprised me is that I have no GSA, BBA, hair and other algae common in low and high tech tanks. I may have some GDA on the glass, but with a horde of ramshorn snails, they are not noticeable. I had a couple episodes of green water in early stage, but after balancing out and with the help of daphnia, the water stayed clear without filtration.

I bought those bowls from EBay, shipped from China. Mine are 1 gal, but net water volume after substracting the substrate and the top open space is more like 0.6 gal.
 
Last edited:
Similar threads
Top